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 Photos Uncategorized 2008 07 09 Telstar
46 years of Satellite TV @ Retrothing –

The Telstar 1 communication satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 10, 1962, ushering in the modern age of intercontinental broadcasting and telecommunication. It was owned by AT&T and developed at Bell Telephone Labs as part of an international project sponsored by the USA, UK and France. Its $3 million trip atop one of NASA’s Thor-Delta rockets was the first commercially sponsored launch.

Telstar was placed in a medium altitude elliptical orbit that circled the earth approximately once every 2 3/4 hours. This resulted in a short 20 minute window during which intercontinental communication could be established between Andover Earth Station in the United States and Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall, England or Pleumeur-Bodou in France.

Goonhilly became the first ground station to receive a live intercontinental TV feed on July 23, 1962, although the French were the first to receive a patriotic American test image from Andover, Maine.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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